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Workboats, Davis.tiff
Fishing has been the most important part of the Down East economy for more than two centuries, and boatbuilding became a critical skill. Early-twentieth-century boatbuilders such as Ambrose Fulcher constructed workboats with only a saw, hammer, and hatchet, often in their backyards. They followed no plans, using what they called "the rack of the eye." In this photograph taken at Davis Harbor, the boats display a variety of sizes and styles. A workboat reflects the purposes of the fisherman for whom the boat was created, the boatbuilder's individual style, and the traditions of the community in which the boat was built.